Today marks the 54th day of session and the legislature appears on track to finish within 100 days. Policy committees met this week to consider bills from the opposite chamber. Committees have only three weeks left to hear bills, meaning the window is narrowing for measures to successfully move forward.
Budget talks have begun in earnest behind closed doors. While there is not yet any agreement on a budget, rumor has it that conversations about several key issues are underway.
Updated on Bills We’re Watching
SB 1060 passed out of the House Education Committee on Monday; Awaits hearing in House Appropriations – Senate Bill 1060 would increase the per student funds available to schools through the school finance formula for students who are diagnosed with specific special education needs. The bill would also appropriate $5 million to the Extraordinary Special Education Needs Fund and modify the procedures for school districts and charter schools to submit claims for reimbursement from the fund. The purpose of this fund is to provide additional monies to public district and charter schools who are serving the special needs of students with significant disabilities that cost at least three times the state per pupil funding average. Expect More Arizona has not taken a position on this bill.
The Senate voted in favor of SB 1059; SCR 1002 still awaits action by the full Senate – Senate Concurrent Resolution 1002 would ask voters to approve a 1-cent sales tax for education programs – including K-12, universities and community colleges. Senate Bill 1059 would make changes to how the funding collected from the education sales tax is to be distributed. If this bill passes, it has provisions that will go into effect if the SCR 1002 is approved by a majority of voters, and other provisions if the SCR fails at the ballot box. Expect More Arizona is NEUTRAL on this bill, but has expressed concerns.
HB 2438 awaits committee hearings in Senate Education and Appropriations – The college credit by examination incentive program within the Arizona Department of Education provides an incentive bonus to teachers, school districts and charter schools for students who obtain a passing score on a qualifying examination for college credit while in high school. House Bill 2438 provides $2.5 million to eliminate or reduce the examination fee for students on the free-or reduced-price lunch program, and also alters criteria and procedures for the incentive program. Expect More Arizona has not taken a position on this bill.
For more updates on bills we’re watching, check out our website.